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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

I Ran 5 Miles

I know what you're thinking. Myranda...you've ran in half marathons. What's the big deal about 5 miles? Am I right? I'm right! Here's the thing and why this is so huge for me. I ran 5 miles without stopping and without walking. That is something that I have never done in my entire life! Let's back it up a little.

I started running in high school. I think my junior year at some point I put on some running shoes and just ran. I was averaging about an 8 minute mile. I was running a 3 mile loop in about 24 minutes. I did this every day. We didn't have smart watches or smart phones back then so I was usually running with my discman in hand, praying the anti-skip feature would work, and either look at the microwave as I walked out to the door or wore a regular watch and started as the second hand crossed into a new minute. When I noticed that my time was getting slower, I reversed the route and would be back at the 24 minute time.

At some point I realized I wasn't feeling the greatest and was able to create a 1 and a 2 mile loop from my house. I could at least get in 1 mile even if I couldn't get in 3. Then one random day I got to the point to turn and run up the hill to head home and decided to keep going. I had no idea how far I was going to end up running but I went and it felt good. Once I got home, I hopped in my car and drove my route and found that it was exactly 4 miles. That's how I knew my distances...because I had to drive my routes!

As I said, every day I was running at least 3 miles, unless I wasn't feeling well. Once I had that 4 mile loop I would add that in some days. Then there came this beautiful sunny and warm day. It wasn't too hot and I went out for a 3 mile run. Got to my turn point to head home and decided to do 4 miles instead. Got to my turn point and decided to just keep going straight. I had no idea how far I was going to end up running but I knew where I was going to run. I ended up on some of the steepest hills in our area and three times (yes I remember exactly how many times) I walked for 10 seconds each. I collapsed when I got home. My legs felt like jello but I mean the elevation change on one of those hills was about 40 feet in about 0.1 miles. That doesn't sound like a lot but that is a steep hill (I just looked at a map btw). Once the feeling came back in my legs, I got in my car and drove my route. It was 5 miles. I did it in about 55 minutes. I swore up and down that I would never run 5 miles or more ever again.

I think I mentioned it in my Mount Rushmore race recap that it was almost 20 years to the day when I did that 5 mile run, swearing to never run more than 4 miles ever again, and I was crossing the finish line having completed 13.1 miles! Now that we've caught up, you may have caught onto the fact that the last time I ran without walking was a 4 mile loop and I was 17 and 18 when I was running. Over the years I've done some running here and there but would add in walking when I needed to. When I got back into running in 2020, I was incorporating walks into my runs. I lived in a hilly neighborhood so I would run 0.4 miles and walk 0.1. Eventually I started to increase my run distance and was doing 0.9 miles and walk 0.1.

I think it was training for the Coast Guard Half Marathon in 2023 that I decided to run on my treadmill and just see how long I could run for before I needed a walking break and I made it all 3 of my miles and that was super exciting for me. Here's the thing. Ever since I've started training for races, my goal has always been to finish (A) and run a certain pace (B). I've spent so many runs being a slave to my pace or being in a time crunch that I have to maintain a certain pace to finish by a specific time that I can't remember the last time I just ran to run.

Sun coming through the trees

That's what I did on 11.28. It was my first run in almost 2 weeks because I finally caught my daughter's ick and was coughing so much that I was light headed and dizzy for days! I headed down to the trail because 5 miles was on the schedule for the day. I told myself that if I only wanted to do 2 or 3 miles that was fine. I 100% had no plans to run all 5 miles. Then I get to the trail and it's colder than I thought. I'm not wearing a shirt under that long sleeve and the wind was whipping! I told myself that if I felt cold at 1 mile I would turn around. If not, I would see how I felt at 1.5 miles. If I made it to the street crossing (a little over 1.8 miles) then I would go to 2 miles and turn around if needed. Made it to 2 miles and was finally warm enough that I could poke my hands out of my sleeves but not fully take them out. I got to 2.5 miles and turned around.

I realized that I had been running the whole time and hadn't walked and I wanted to see if I could make it back without a walk break. I briefly had to hesitate at the street crossing to make sure I wouldn't become someone's hood ornament but other than that, I was running the whole time. A little over 1.5 miles in, this song came on my playlist. It starts out really slow and I don't recognize it at first. Once it started playing I looked up and saw the sun poking through the trees and knew it would be a good run. Before the song finished I remember thinking It would be amazing to finish my run with Might Get Loud.

I skipped over a song here and there because I just wasn't feeling the vibe and when I was about half a mile from finishing, Might Get Loud came on. I am not even joking! Next thing I know I'm running like nobody's business! I was singing the song out loud. Thank goodness no one else was on the trail! I flew! I didn't finish before the song was over but got close enough that when I slowed back down, I was still able to sing along to my music, which had been my goal the whole run...to sing along!

So for the first time ever, in my entire life, I ran 5 miles without walking breaks, without having an eagle eye on my pace and just running to run and I did it in 1h 9m 40s averaging a 13:55 minute/mile pace which is faster than if I would have been watching my pace! I'm definitely going to do that again. Now to figure out how to create a workout that I can send to my watch that will tell me when to turn around when I do an out and back!

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